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February 14, 2017
Review: Aimée Marcoux-Spurlock in “Women of Bilbao” at the Metropolitan Room

Aimée Marcoux-Spurlock has had a varied career in news and entertainment. As a reporter and producer for Reuters Television, Showtime, the BBC, NBC and Fox, she covered many stories including the 9/11 attacks. She interviewed celebrities including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Salma Hayek, Tony Bennett, and President Bill Clinton.

On the stage, she is an opera singer who has performed with companies and orchestras around the globe, including Florida Grand Opera, New World Symphony Orchestra, Florentine Opera, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas, The Bulgarian National Orchestra, Opera Frankfurt, Paraguay Symphony Orchestra and The Hungarian State Opera.

Doing an evening of Kurt Weill music in a cabaret setting is a departure from her previous work, and watching the show, it seemed that it took her a while to find her footing. Certainly she looks comfortable on stage, and although slim on banter with the audience, she had a few nice moments joking about herself and her husband. As a vocalist, her strengths are her long, strong operatic tones. When she has time to hold a solid note, her voice opens up and has time to flourish. Alas, much of the material she was performing was short and rhythmic.

I wonder about the choice of material. It's admirable that an artist should push themselves in new directions and not just work with the material that best suits them. It's easy to play in the "safe" space and the easy vocal range and styling, which she is not doing by attempting German Weimer music. But as an outsider - an audience just coming to see a show - I felt that it was a work in progress, rather than worthy of the weight we think of performing on the New York stage on a Friday night prime-time spot. Perhaps a few smaller shows as a warm up would have been more appropriate.

I applaud Marcoux-Spurlock for jumping into the cabaret scene, and urge her to continue her exploration. I think when she comes upon the right match for her voice, her future shows will be brilliant.

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Written by: Evan Seplow
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